The office of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin pressured an investigator to suppress evidence, the investigator says.
Investigator Magen Hayashi testified Thursday that she feared being fired if she did not do as she was told by prosecutors in the case against Terrance Stangel, a San Francisco police officer who faces battery and assault charges, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Hayashi’s affidavit was part of the case against the officer.
Nicole Pifari, an attorney for Stangel, claimed that the District Attorney’s Office withheld incriminating evidence when police investigated the man Stangel is accused of beating.
That man, Dacari Spiers, was allegedly beating his girlfriend before his confrontation with Stangel, which would have justified the use of force by an officer, Pifari said.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Teresa Caffese minimized the impact of Hayashi’s claim.
“The D.A.’s office is not on trial,” Caffese stated.
Pifari said Hayashi’s affidavit never disclosed an interview with a witness who saw the girlfriend being assaulted. Instead, Pifari claimed Hayashi lied by not reporting the encounter, which harmed her case.
Hayashi said she was pressured to sign the affidavit after the comment from the witness was removed.
“It was a general understanding in my experience in this office, if you don’t sign these things you’ll be fired,” she explained.
The judge indicated that because there was other evidence similar to what Hayashi did not disclose, there was no clear indication of evidence being suppressed.
Pifari’s case hinges on the fact that Spiers was allegedly assaulting a woman at the time Stangel intervened.
The attorney claims the officer’s prosecution was politically motivated, noting that Boudin has promised to prosecute police who are accused of excessive use of force.
Boudin has come under attack in the past for his liberal policies.
“We’re doomed as a city, especially with a district attorney like Chesa Boudin,” Jason Young told Fox News last month after a man convicted of killing his son was given a light prison term.
“The police are doing their due diligence to try to solve these crimes and hold people accountable for these crimes,” Young continued. “The district attorney’s office is not willing to prosecute and hold these criminals accountable.”
“Because of the politics and the policies of the district attorney, there’s no accountability,” he said, calling Boudin “dismissive” and “out of touch.”